Nigerians in Diaspora remitted $21 billion in 2013 – Official

Nigerians in Diaspora contribute to the development of the nation

Nigerians spread around the world remitted $21 billion into the country’s economy in 2013, the supervisory Minister in charge of the National Planning Commission, NPC, Bashir Yuguda, has said.

Mr. Yuguda made the disclosure Thursday in Abuja at a meeting of Sector Policy Review Committee, SPRC, which held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel under the theme “Strengthening Migration Management to Drive the Transformation Agenda Towards Vision 20:20:20; Challenges and Opportunities”.

Mr. Yuguda said migration is a very important component of any country’s development. He recalled that the President of the United States of America, USA, Barack Obama, informed President Goodluck Jonathan on a recent visit to the US that there are over 25,000 medical professionals from Nigeria who are contributing to the development of the U.S.

The Minister said though there are bad eggs, most Nigerians outside the shores of the land are portraying the country’s image positively and contributing to the growth of Nigeria’s economy with money they remit.

Mr. Yuguda said the essence of the meeting is to afford all relevant agencies involved in migration matters to sit under one roof and speak uniformly on the progress and challenges of migration in the country.

Also speaking, the Head of the European Union, EU, delegation in Nigeria, Michel Arrion, said the EU considers Nigeria a strategic partner and is working with the country to improve ties on a number of issues especially migration.

“The EU will use recommendations from this meeting to improve on its migration development issues not just with Nigeria but other EU partners in the globe,” he said.

He also said the EU is interested in a better organisation of legal migration which can be used as a tool for development. He, however, urged participants at the meeting to find a way to avoid brain drain which could be counterproductive to Nigeria’s development.

“Although the EU member states need workers from all over, it should not be at the detriment of developing countries,” he said.

The EU head also urged participants at the meeting to proffer additional solution to the menace of human trafficking, which he said is affecting Nigeria negatively.

Also speaking, the Minister for Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, Kabiru Turaki, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Winifred Oyo-Ita, said his Ministry has in conjunction with relevant agencies come up with a national policy on migration which has been submitted to the Federal Executive Council for consideration.

He also said following the submission and subsequent formation of an inter-ministerial committee by the FEC, a Technical Working Group on migration has also been put in place.

He added that the SWG is important because “migration requires a robust Inter-Ministerial approach and all MDAs need to have a coordinated strategy document to work with”.

The Minister urged all MDAs to lend their support to the initiative.

The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, who was also represented by the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, David Paradang, said the meeting is important because it affords MDAs the opportunity to address all areas of friction in the management of migration issues.

He also urged the attendees of the meeting to proffer ways to ensure proper investment on intelligence gathering and training of personnel on counter terrorism.

The meeting was funded by the European Union under the project “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria”.

Technical partners responsible for the meeting are the International Organisation for Migration, IOM and the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, UNODC.

Apart from the IOM and UNODC, other members of the SPRC included the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters, NAPTIP; the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons; Nigeria Immigration Service; National Population Commission; National Bureau of Statistics; Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; Federal Ministry of Interior and other non-state actors on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.

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